Camino Stats 2021
Thankfully 2021 pilgrim numbers have been an improvement on 2020!
According to the Pilgrim Office in Santiago de Compostela, 176,869 pilgrims walked the Camino in 2021, representing a 228% increase compared to 2020 however just under 50% of the total pilgrim numbers in 2019, pre Covid. Please note these figures only include pilgrims who collected a ‘Compostela’ or Certificate of Completion in Santiago, they do not account for pilgrims who did not finish in Santiago or those who finished in Santiago but did not collect a Compostela.
2020 represented the lowest number of pilgrims since statistics were first published in 2004, with a total of 53,893 pilgrims. Between 2005 – 2019, excluding the Holy Year of 2010 and the following year 2011, the number of pilgrims walking the Camino grew at a rate fo 9.5% per annum.
Source: Pilgrim Office, Santiago de Compostela
Considering the travel restrictions in the first half of the year, it is no surprise that the majority of these pilgrims were Spanish (68%).
The Total Number of Foreign Pilgrims for 2021 was 56,093, up 232% compared with 16,885 in 202o but down 258% compared with 201,229 in 2019, before the pandemic. The largest numbers of walkers came from Portugal (5.25%), Italy (4.36%), Germany (3.6%) and France (2.5%) – where travelling to Spain could be done overland.
82% of Foreign Pilgrims travelled between the months of July and October in line with increased vaccination rates and easing of both European and US travel restrictions.
While 2022 has started off with high Covid numbers due to Omicron, we are optimistic for travel for 2022 given the freedoms provided by the Covid vaccines, the recent easing of Covid travel testing requirements in Europe this week and the Holy Year on the Camino this year, the last Holy Year being in 2010.
So while things are still some way from normal, permission for take-off has largely been granted. For us, it’s time to spread our wings again. For the destinations and communities around the world that depend on tourism, it’s a vital step forward.
See you at the departure gate…